Micro CT scanning on mussels from marine lakes

Published on
February 12, 2016

MSc thesis topic available at Wageningen UR with Dr. Lisa Becking and Diede Maas, MSc (MAE)


  • Are interested in marine ecology
  • Are interested in morphological differentiation among populations
  • Would like to gain experience in the following:
  1. Micro CT scanning
  2. Infer calcification rate from CT scans
  3. Relate calcification capacity to environmental factors

The project:

Climate change is impacting marine life in ways which are still poorly understood. Increasing temperatures and acidity levels of the ocean have effects on the life histories of all marine organisms. Marine lakes are land-locked bodies of seawater which provide the ideal system to study processes of ecological adaptation, as they vary in environmental conditions. Those range from being ocean-like, to temperatures (>31C) and pH levels (<7.5) which are predicted by the IPCC for the year 2100 if climate change continues at the pace it is now. Here, we focus on marine bivalve mussels, because they are calcifiers and important contributors to an ecosystem’s biodiversity. Variability in pH can impact an organism’s ability to incorporate calcium into its shell through biomineralization processes. We are interested in whether we can relate differences in shell thickness, and thus calcification rate, of Brachidontes sp. to the gradient of climate change stressor intensities.


This thesis project is at the MSc level. Experience with Micro CT scanning is preferred, but not required. If you are a highly motivated student, please send an email & 1-2 page CV to: or